Running Macromedia Pollster on IIS

First of all, Macromedia Pollster is a new sample application included on DRK 4 that allows you to create and embed fully functional, single-question polls into a web page in no more than few minutes (see the poll to the right). In fact, it regularly takes me longer to think of poll question and options than to actually create and deploy the poll.

Pollster has a ColdFusion administrative interface for creating, editing, deleting and viewing polls and poll results. The poll itself is implemented in Flash. After creating a poll, all you have to do is copy and paste the generated Flash tags into your web page, and your poll is live.

The Pollster administrative application has a form of simple security which uses HTTP browser authentication to collect a username and password and compare it to a hard-coded, hashed username and password in your Application.cfm file. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with some IIS configurations because no matter what you type in as your username, your Windows username gets passed to the server. There are a couple of different ways to fix this.

  1. Change the hard-coded, hashed username in the Application.cfm to the hashed version of your Windows username.
  2. Remove the hash operation from Application.cfm so that you can more easily replace the hard-coded username with your Windows username.
  3. Remove authentication altogether. If you are behind a firewall, that’s fine, but if you aren’t, better pick another option.
  4. Convert the authentication mechanism over from browser authentication to a web form. Raymond Camden was kind enough to provide some sample code.

If you have followed one or more of the steps above and you are still having problems with Pollster on IIS, let me know.